The Lord Jesus led me to read John 1 (Select vv. NASB). Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God) is the Word of which this passage speaks. This fact will become clear as we near the end of this scripture. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was with God in the beginning, and he was and is God, the second person of our triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He always existed with God, and all things which were created were made by him, i.e. He is our Creator God, and not just our Savior. Jesus Christ is the Word of God, thus he speaks the very words of God. Our written Word, the Bible, was authored by him, by God, who breathed his words into godly men who then penned the books of the Bible. Jesus Christ is life, he is the author of life, he gives the breath of life to all living beings, and he gives eternal and abundant life to all who believe in him as Lord and as Savior of their lives. Jesus Christ is also the Light of men, i.e. he is the way, the truth, and the life. He is righteousness and holiness. Jesus, the true Light, shines in the darkness (wickedness). He lets his truth known. But, the lost world has not taken hold of that truth, i.e. they have not accepted and received the truth which has been revealed. In fact, many people who claim to be Christians have also not eagerly seized and applied the truth (the Light) to their lives. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, because of the sin of humankind, came to earth, took on human flesh, ministered to the needs of the people, and preached repentance for forgiveness of sins, and for eternal life with God. Yet, the people of the world did not recognize him as the Son of God, and neither did most of the Jews, who were then the children of God. Even many of his own family members, and the people of his hometown, did not receive (accept, take hold of) him as their Messiah and Lord. They also did not take hold of him and his truth as the fulfillment of prophecy of scripture, and as coming from God the Father. In addition to this, Jesus said that if we follow him, we should expect to be treated the same as he was. We will also have our testimonies rejected and not believed by many. But, to any who receive him and his truth into their lives, by faith, taking hold of it, and making it their own, by applying it to their lives, actively believing on him, they will become the children of God, born of the Spirit of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. Yet, not everyone rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Lord. He had followers, although they were few in number in contrast to the majority who rejected him. Those who were his true followers saw Jesus for who he was and is. They saw his holiness, his righteousness, and his divine qualities and nature, although they didn’t completely understand him when he walked this earth. But, their understanding became more complete after Jesus died and was resurrected from the dead, and after he reappeared to them. Now speaking of John the Baptist… The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” John the Baptist, not the apostle John, was called of God to testify to Jesus Christ and to prepare the way for him, to make a straight (upright, pure) path for him, for the people to receive him. So, he preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and he baptized with a baptism of repentance. Here John declared that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. He also declared him to be the Son of God, who existed before him. John also came to make Jesus Christ known to the Jews as their Messiah and Lord, and also as the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. So, what does that mean, to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? Well, Jesus Christ came to the earth, not just to do what he did during his earthly ministry, but to die on a cross, to become sin for us on that cross, and to take our punishment for sin so that we could go free. He died on that cross, nonetheless, not just to take our punishment for sin, but so we could die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel message. And, this is what our water baptism represents (symbolizes). Yet, this baptism with the Spirit is not with water. John had made that distinction between his baptism with water and that of Christ Jesus, which is baptism with the Spirit and with fire. Thus, it is spiritual, i.e. it is our new birth in Christ Jesus, of the Spirit, via dying with Christ to sin and being resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). When this takes place in our lives, the Spirit of God comes to live within us, to strengthen, to teach, to counsel, to guide and to empower us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. Thus begins the process of the Spirit conforming us to the likeness of Christ, as we yield our lives over to God for him to work his will and his purposes in our lives. All glory to God! To Be Like Him / An Original Work March 16, 2014 / Based off Scripture Crucified you are with Jesus. To be like Him, oh, you’ll be, Because He died at Calv’ry, So from sin you’d be free. Oh, what joy He brings into your life, Giving life with Him endlessly. Oh, what plans He has for your life. Share the gospel faithfully. Show the people He loves them. Now His witness you’ll be. Tell the world of sin about Jesus, How He died for them on a tree. Purifying hearts, He saves them, Who believe on Christ, God’s Son. Turning now from their idols, New lives they have begun. Jesus saves from sin; we’re forgiven. Over sin, the vict’ry He won! When He comes again to take us To be with Him evermore, There will be no more crying. Gladness will be in store. Heavens joys will now overtake us: We’ll be with our Lord evermore. Friday, December 1, 2017, 6:18 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these words from John, chapter 1, and for how you have spoken to my heart through them. And, thank you for the encouragement they give to us to follow you in truth.